Monday, April 25, 2011

Album Obsessions

While I almost always have a pile of albums in my "to listen to" bin, lately, I've been a bit overloaded.  At one point, I had 20 albums I was working on.  Thankfully, there were a lot of really great albums to be found in bunch.  Here are the albums that stood out and are still a part of my play list: 

Forget by Twin Shadow.
Find it in the catalog! 

Forget pretty much won me over from the first notes of the opening track, "Tyrant Destroyer."  Between the catchy synth riffs and George Lewis Jr.'s Morrissey-esque croon, this album highlights the absolutely best elements of 80s New Wave music.  The tone is bittersweet and nostalgic, making it great late night listening. 

Tracks on repeat: "Tyrant Destroyer," "At My Heels," "Slow," and closer "Forget."

Tell Me by Jessica Lea Mayfield.
Find it in the catalog!

This album was recommended to me by fellow Media Corner blogger, Jason, and it was produced by my favorite gingerbeard guitarist, Dan Auerbach (from the Black Keys); so naturally it was required listening. Tell Me is less folksy than her debut, With Blasphemy So Heartfelt (which I also like quite bit). There is some excellent guitar work on this album and poppy sounding synth on songs like "Grown Man" and "Nervous Lonely Night."Lyrically, this album is quite dark, though somewhat relatable. 

Tracks on repeat:  "Grown Man" stood out the most to me on first listen.  It's catchy, though I find the lyrics mildly creepy.  The last three songs ("Tell Me," "Run Myself into the Ground," and "Sleepless") are also favorites of mine.

James Blake by James Blake.
Find in the catalog! 

I checked out this album for the shallowest of reasons... James Blake is adorable in a nerdy, British way (it's totally the floppy hair!).    Also, the video for his cover of Feist's "Limit to Your Love" was awesome.   This album definitely blew me away.  Thanks in part to his soulful (albeit heavily processed) vocals, reminiscent of Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, Blake presents a uniquely emotional take on electronic music. 

Tracks on Repeat:  "I Never Learned to Share,"  "To Care (Like You)," "I Mind," and "Measurements."

Phosphene Dream by Black Angels.
Find it in the catalog!

I guessed from the head spinning cover and the name that this band would probably be some kind of 60s garage rock band in the vein of the Black Keys and Black Mountain.  I was right, but man, this album rocks!  Phosphene Dream is a dark, gritty psychedelic ride that would be at home on a Nuggets compilation (if it was not made 40 years too late).

Tracks on repeat:  "Bad Vibrations," "River of Blood," and "Telephone."

21 by Adele.
Find it in the catalog!

Sure, I have a few Amy Winehouse songs in my iTunes, but I've never been huge into the British retro-soul genre.  But everyone loves Adele.  She puts a modern spin on soul and her songs occasionally have very witty and sassy lines.  Also, as an enthusiast of heartbreak songs, it's hard to pass up a break album this good!

Tracks on repeat:  "Rolling in Deep," "Turning Tables," "Set Fire to Rain," and "One and Only."